FISCAL ARMAGEDDON LOOMS, WHILE DEMOCRATS PLAY GAMES
By Christopher G. Adamo
Occasionally, they voice their supposed concern over fiscal matters, such as their much touted “cuts” of one hundred million dollars from the U.S. federal budget during the early days of the Obama administration. Yet, in comparison to the nearly unfathomable squandering of the national treasury that they have perpetrated in the past few years, that amount, enormous as it is, hardly registers on the federal ledger. Nobody who is sincere about reining in federal spending would dally among such trivial percentages for any reason, other than to deflect attention from the trillions that are concurrently being wasted.
Indeed, America’s irresponsible level of spending now approaches an impasse. The abominable situation will either be honestly addressed, or the national economy will implode. But, rather than working sincerely and diligently across party lines (It was not long ago that we were told of the glorious virtues of “bipartisanship”) in order to make wise budgetary decisions that would continue to fund worthwhile duties of government, while preventing an economic meltdown, Democrats caterwaul of a likely government “shutdown,” seeking to vilify congressional Republicans, as if any honest government officeholder has the option to continue profligate spending at the current rate.
Inarguably, some worthwhile federal programs will need to be cut if the budget is truly to be salvaged. However, that would be a far preferable alternative to allowing the present behemoth to continue spiraling out of control, at which point all programs, both good and bad, necessary and unnecessary, will cease to function. No less significant is the appalling fact that much of the current federal budget is bloated beyond reason, for the sole purpose of amassing power at the federal level, and thus could be eliminated with no real harm coming to the citizenry.
The Republican Congress, having been brought to majority status -- in the U.S. House of Representatives -- as a result of last November’s elections, is making some headway towards truly addressing the problem. But this undertaking reveals significant negative, as well as positive, points. On the downside, House Speaker John Boehner refuses to invoke necessary measures to prevent a staggering one-hundred billion dollars from being committed towards the implementation of Obamacare. Boehner’s reasoning is that doing so would entail a significant deviation from House rules, which he is unwilling to make.
In a time when Republicans have been empowered specifically to confront and correct the abhorrent abuses of power perpetrated by their Democratic Party rivals, it is dismaying that they refuse to take up the challenge. Democrats desecrated every vestige of constitutional law and principle, not to mention public trust, in order to implement Obamacare. Sadly, Boehner and his colleagues are now willing to sacrifice the integrity of the U.S. Constitution in order to restore and preserve the sanctity of House rules.
On the positive side, Representative Paul Ryan (Republican - Wisconsin) has unveiled a bold plan that could actually put the brakes on the current budgetary dysfunction. Ryan plans to trim spending over the next ten years, while ensuring that the nation returns to solvency. Admittedly, for his regimen to work, it would have to be studiously followed. And Washington has been notoriously bad at sticking to promises of any sensible limitation on its actions.
So, at this most critical milestone in the nation’s history, what are the terms of the debate that ought to bring about a restoration of sanity in the way government functions? According to Chris Van Hollen (Democrat - Maryland), “The Tea Party has hijacked the Republican Caucus.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the effort “A path to poverty for America’s seniors and children.” Incoming Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz (a virtual Pelosi clone, minus the charm and sex appeal) has accused Ryan of creating “a death trap for seniors.”
Locked in their devotion to the glorious past times of rampant government expansion, with never a thought of any day of reckoning, Liberal Leftist Democrats, once again, seek to portray themselves as the generous benefactors of society. Conversely, those on the political Right reflect a cold and miserly attitude, refusing to share even a tiny bit of the limitless supply of money that would otherwise flow so freely from Washington out to the “little people” across the land.
Of course, President Barack Obama had to get in on this game, demanding that the Republican dominated House and Democratic controlled Senate come to some sort of agreement (but one that he, as the ostensibly “neutral” overseer, could accept). And, in true leadership fashion, he claimed to have found common ground with Republican House Speaker Boehner on $73 billion in budgetary “cuts.”
Interestingly, Boehner bluntly refuted that claim, asserting that, as of their latest meeting, Obama could only agree to less than half that amount. Yet, consider either number against the vast backdrop of the $1.5 trillion deficit, for this year alone, that will ensue from current federal spending excesses. In more comprehendible terms, Obama’s courageous budgetary reduction is the equivalent of trimming forty-eight dollars (or nineteen dollars and change, if you believe Boehner’s number) off of a thousand dollar bender. In plain terms, neither the White House nor its co-conspirators on Capitol Hill have any intention of engaging in responsible governing.
In stark contrast to the manner in which this dilemma is being portrayed on the nightly news, the situation at present does not constitute a liability to the Republicans, if they can remain committed to the principles they espoused in their “Pledge to America.” What the nation is currently seeing is the chasm dividing the two political camps. On the one hand, the Republicans recognize the impending danger and, for the sake of the nation as a whole, are endeavoring to deal with it. Conversely, the Democrats display their intentions to shamelessly sidestep any real effort at avoiding catastrophe, while reverting to their standard tactics of instilling fear and panic among the citizenry, which is their primary method of preserving their current hold on power. And ultimately, that is their real goal.
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Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state
level for many years. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com
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